What to See
Agatti Island: This 7 km long beach island shimmers like a jewel. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands complete with white sands, blue waters, multi-hued fishes, brilliant corals and coconut and palm groves. Fishermen huts line one side of the beach and a mosque and museum let you explore its history and culture. The 2-storey Golden Jubilee Museum houses a traditional sailboat, old jars, utensils, busts of Buddha and wooden chests recovered during ship-wrecks. Also watch the two gold coins believed to date to 1560. Take out time to also visit the Mohiyudeen Mosque, which is surrounded by palm groves and old tombstones. The mosque lacks the typical Islamic minarets and is indeed simple. Watch the Arabic letters that beautify its front cornice.
The island is surrounded by coral reefs and its waters abound in fishes, live coral, starfishes, turtles, manta rays and sea anemones. Discover all these and more in a thrilling session of snorkelling and glass-bottomed boat ride. Though it might appear challenging, the lagoon is quite shallow, so go ahead!
Open from: Museum - 10.00 am-5.00 pm
Bangaram Island: This is one of the uninhabited islands and the only faces you're likely to find here are those of the hotel and of eager tourists looking for a thrilling session of discovering the sea. The island is as quiet as it gets, which does seem unbelievable, since this is the only island that permits alcohol! Bangaram attracts deep-sea divers from all over and this is your best chance to discover a whole world of sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, eels, squirrel fish, parrot fish and groupers. You can obtain diving tips and certificates from the resort. Try your hand at some angling and snorkel in the relatively shallow lagoons. You'd find creatures like angelfish, butterfly fish, clown fish and surgeonfish. Also, if possible, explore the shipwreck that took place off Bangaram - some elements of the destroyed ship would still be visible. For those who would rather not snorkel, there are glass-bottom boats to help you see the spectacular world.
Kadmat Island: This stunning island is one of the most uninhabited islands and was relatively unexplored, till recently. Once used as a fishing spot during the monsoon, this island is best for spending a lazy outing swimming. The beach abounds in coral and the waters are a pristine blue surrounded almost totally by the deep-green sea grass. Occasionally you might come across a beautiful red coral and hermit crabs, so called because they are so shy that they almost never leave their shells! For adventure enthusiasts, enroll yourself in the Prahlad Kakkar's Lacadives Dive School, which offers packaged diving holidays complete with stay, equipments and dives. Also take out time to visit the Coconut Desiccating Plant, where you can watch the production of dry coconut powder, and the Coir Factory, where machine-made and hand-made coir are produced.
Kalpeni Island: Kalpeni must have once been one of the most beautiful islands, though today it lies rather forlorn. Made of three small isles, it was once a center for collecting turtle shells and today fisherman lay their nets to collect an all-time delicacy - octopus! Occasional bits of coral, fishes and turtles line the lagoons and deep-green sea grass abounds here. The sea is quite rich here and occasional catches of seer, skates and Bombay ducks are found. It is not advisable to go snorkeling here, since the corals beneath are often pointed and jutting. Alternately, take a kayak and explore the sea. If the tide is low, venture out to the Cheriyam Island, accessible by a walk over the coral debris. This island is favourite with fishermen looking for seer, tuna and octopus. Though avoidable, you might visit the Moinuddeen Mosque, whose Mangalore-tile covered roof is worth watching. You can also spend your time checking out the local handicraft shop, from where purchases of miniature boats and Lakshadweep Tourism t-shirts can be bought.
Kavaratti Island: This is one of the busiest islands here, since this is the administrative centre of Lakshadweep. The beach here is definitely not the cleanest though the lagoons abound in starfishes, anemones, sea cucumbers and other fishes. This island is one of the best places to try your skills at diving. If you're a first-timer, enroll yourself at the Dolphin Dive Centre, which offers quite a few interesting diving classes and sessions. Important visit in this island is the Ujra Mosque, which is a beautiful white structure and houses the tomb of Sheikh Kasim, who introduced the festival of Ratheeb. The mosque lacks minarets and its pillars and ceilings are intricately carved. Watch the ceiling of the mosque verandah, which is said to have been built out of a single driftwood. The Aquarium-cum-Museum in the Island houses a shark, anemones and octopuses and on display are the shells, which were used as money and specimens of coral. Inaccessible to public are the Suheli Par and Pitty Bird Sanctuary, whose waters abound in fish and crowies.
Open from: Ujra Mosque - 10.00 am-6.00 pm
Aquarium-cum-Museum - 10.00 am-5.00 pm, Entry fee - Rs 5
Minicoy Island: This is one of the most active and interesting islands divided into tiny and perfect villages. One of the busiest islands, it is credited to be the only island which has a set of mangroves. The lagoon is its almost secluded beach is perfect to snorkel in and the lake houses water crabs, turtles and tiny fishes. The Maliku (Minicoy) houses are brightly coloured and each village is manned by a unanimously chosen headman. Note that each village has a separate mosque. Since fishing is the most important industry here, a highlight of this island is the presence of several bobbing chests on the lagoons that are used for storage of fish.